Yorktown, VA to Florence, OR. Daily updates: location, weather, pictures, quotes. James P. D'Alessio Esophageal Cancer Fund donation total.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Pacific Coast

Congratulations to Matt, Thomas, Brian and Dave for completing the Adventure Cycling TransAmerican Bike Route.

Last night we ended up riding in the dark with headlamps out of Eugene city limits in order to camp safely off the side of the road in a field. Brian woke us up at 5am so that the three of us could meet Dave. The ride started in the dark before sunrise and was reminiscent of Virginian rolling hills as we crossed the coastal mountain range into Florence. Once at our destination we ate breakfast, having coffee for the first time all trip, and then met up with Dave. The four of us rode an additional 5 miles North of Florence to the ocean where we lugged our loaded bikes across a long beach to the water (this time not worrying about getting sand in the gears as we did in Yorktown).

After taking pictures in the fog we rode back to Florence where we parted with Dave. The crew disassembled, boxed and shipped bikes with the help of BICYCLES 101, Inc. We will camp in Florence tonight and all travel via bus to Portland tomorrow where we will part ways with the friends we made on the trip.

Thank you to all those who have tuned in, contributed to our ride and supported the James P. D'Alessio ECF.

-Matt

Day 65

Dave is in Florence waiting for the other three, who are in Eugene. The three rode 38 miles and are crashing at the University of Oregon Student Union House. Tomorrow they'll ride to Florence and meet Dave and ride the final 5 miles of the trip to west coast.

Stay tuned ladies and gentleman, this adventure is about to end....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Day 64

"We all agree that this has been the best riding day so far." The scenery on this ride was incredible. The were traveling through a volcanic river, on small windy roads between volcanic rock. Once they passed that they entered a tunnel created by giant redwoods. They were surrounded by white capped mountains. They met a guy named Jerry who drove a '76 yellow bug. He had coolers of food and drinks in it and shared all of it w/ the riders. Dave decided to ride ahead to Eugene, while the other three stopped in Vida covering 86.59 miles. The three met a waitress who told them about a hotel that they could camp behind. It also turned out the hotel owner's daughter was having her 21st birthday party there, so the guys celebrated with them. Dave found a vegan hostel to stay at in Eugene.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Day 63

AFter a cold night, they traveled 73.48 miles to Redmond, OR. The met a couple from Boston traveling west to meet their belongings which they had shipped ahead to their new place on the west coast. Near the end of the ride Thomas' bike had a slight malfunction. Something broke and fell on the front tire which suddenly locked up and he flipped over the front of his bike. Matt said it was a comical thing to watch as Thomas suddenly flew over. No worries though, Thomas is okay and they were able to rig his bike so that won't happen again. The ride also brought them past a lot of wild life.

Day 62

From Mount Vernon to Mitchell, OR, it sounds like they're still on the GW campus except for the 61.95 mile ride between the two cities. They had some fun downhills on the ride, but a lot more uphills. Dave blew out a tire and Matt lost two tires because rocks had melted into the rubber. The town of Mitchell has a caged, declawed, black bear in the center of town named Henry and a cool local grocery store that Dave bought a t-shirt from. They spent the relaxing to some music.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Day 61

Its been two months...

They celebrated this aniversary in Mount Vernon, Oregon, 89.26 miles closer to the end. They enjoyed a lot of wildlife and they climbed out of the area known as the high desert prairie. The Blue Mountains are in view and they are ready to climb over them. While camping they met a retired heart surgeon who has been sailing around the world. They also me someone with the ultimate snake bite cure, a bottle of Jack. He offered it to them as something to use to celebrate the end of their journey saying, "I drink this every night and I've never been bitten by a snake."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day 60

A cool morning, nasty afternoon, and a tire debacle landed the riders 74.38 miles further to Baker City, Oregon. Matt had decided to loosen his spokes in hopes that he wouldn't keep breaking them, but that made his rear wheel wobble, which became a problem in the afternoon. Brian happened to get a flat tire at the same time Matt broke another spoke (even w/ the new setup), so they both pulled to the side of the road to make repairs. The repairs took up 45 minutes. Brian couldn't seem to get his tire on right and they ended up drinking all of their water. This made the following uphill ride miserable. Eventually they ended up setting up camp behind a catholic church, where they got to watch a dress rehearse of The Taming of the Shrew.

And on a side note, the night before they got to watch a guy spin fire.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Day 59

They're in Oregon...Traveling 62.07 miles landed them in Oxbow, Oregon. The ride was an interesting one, Matt broke another spoke, the heat is becoming increasingly annoying, and (if I remember correctly) Brian had a tough day. His rear wheel became wobbly, which resulted in the wheel blowing out, to stop the bike he veered off the road into sand. The sand caught is front tire in an awkward way and he took an ugly spill. Don't worry though, he's fine. His helmet took the brunt of the damage and he was left with just a few scratches. Disappointed that they hadn't gone far enough into the state to see the "Welcome to Oregon" sign, our boys stopped at the Idaho State Power Co. Campground where while working on their bikes with out their shirts on, two girls rolled by and yelled, "Put some clothes on and go back to hippiville!" After laughing hysterically at that comment, they retired to their tents looking forward to arriving in some larger cities.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Day 58

Montana and Idaho do not seem to believe in cell phones and about half of the pay phones have been out of order. Today we find ourselves 40 miles from the Idaho/Oregon border in Council ( we also stayed in Council, VA). Once in OR we will finally be in Pacific time for the remainder of the trip. The time of day for the past three days has been confusing because our route crosses the Salmon River which is the border of the two time zones.

Last night we were treated at a restaurant by a group of private rafters and kayakers from Spokane, WA who were on their annual weekend trip to Riggins. Two brothers were in the group; the older of the two was getting married so his friends, as we witnessed, treated the weekend like a bachelor party. All members of their group were very impressed by our accomplishment so far and were interested in our website and tent.

This morning we decided to wake up in Riggins at 6am to avoid the mid-day heat that we have been reintroduced to in the past two days. As we packed our gear two deer grazed in the park no more than 50 feet from our tents. we went to the closets gas station to supplement our pb and j sandwiches but had to wait until 7am mountain time for it to open.

Once on the road i broke another spoke when climbing one of the many hills we crested today. A fast downhill lead us into town where we followed Dave and our 10 year old book to the city park. I am doing laundry for the 5th time and using the tourist visitor's center to make this post.

Now that we can picture ourselves riding through Oregon to the coast the general consensus of the group is that we want to be there as soon as possible. Making the August 15th ETA should not be a problem for the four of us baring any mechanical problems (knock on wood as Thomas always says).

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Day 55/56/57

Day 55

We found Matt and Dave 58.55 miles further in their travel, relaxing in Powell, Idaho at a campground with an english teacher from Multenborro, New Hampshire named Piedmont. Not only is he an english teacher, but he's also a cross country ski coach who rode up the California coast and is heading to Yellowstone.

They got a late start on their ride so that they could wait for a bike shop to open. From this point on you should be assuming that Dave got a flat tire at one point during the ride, it seems to be happening daily now. Luckily the Riddle family gave them a donation, so Dave can keep buying air tubes for his tire.

Day 56

About 88 miles further, we find our riders in Kooskia (sounds like Koosky), Idaho. A great downhill ride took them 60 miles before lunch. Since they're following the Salmon River, they keep passing back-and-forth over the time zones. The ride dropped them 1000 feet in elevation, making the ride a little warmer and muggy, thats what they get for riding through an area known as Hell's Canyon. Dave got another ______ tire and Matt had 2 more broken ________ (fill in the blanks).

They spent the night camping with a guy named Sid, who's travelling west. His bike had a generator on it so that as he rode he could power the headlights also on his bike.

Day 57

Since they are following the Salmon River south, they find themselves gaining and losing hours of the day and still in Idaho. 72.87 miles brought them to the city park in Riggins, Idaho, where they're camping on a bluff over the river, which they swam in to get some of the stink of the road off. During the ride, they took side roads to avoid traffic and boring scenery on the main rode. Matt is also down another spoke.